White fragrant plants
Houseplants of the month of March 2016: Lovely to look at, more versatile than you think and the perfect way to get a little advance taste of summer. Gardenia, Jasminum (jasmine) and Stephanotis are white bloomers with a high home decor content.
Gardenia, Jasminum (jasmine) and Stephanotis all bloom with white spectacular flowers, and all have an irresistible fragrance which provides pure living aromatherapy. The white colour of this trio’s flowers symbolises aspects such as purity, chastity, simplicity, innocence, truth, calm and natural love.
Gardenia grows in Asia in areas including southern China, India, Vietnam and Japan. The plant is named after the Scottish botanist Dr Garden. It is characterised by its shiny green leaves and the strongly scented creamy white flowers which resemble a wild rose. Gardenia’s flowers were frequently used as a buttonhole in the past.
Jasmine originates from the Himalayan mountains and the temperate regions of China. It is a climber which produces many tendrils with fine jagged leaves and strongly scented small flowers in clusters which gradually turn white from a pinkish bud.
Stephanotis comes from Madagascar. It has dark green leaves with clusters of tubular white flowers which come into bloom along the tendrils. The plant’s flowers are often used in traditional and modern bridal work. One common name is therefore the Hawaiian wedding flower.
What to look for when buying white scented plants
Stephanotis and Jasmine are particularly trained onto frames or shapes such as triangles, globes or arches. Look carefully at the buds: not too immature but not too ripe either offers the best chance of successful flowering.
- Jasmine, Gardenia and Stephanotis prefer a light spot indoors, but not bright sunlight. Gardenia and jasmine can also be placed in the garden or on the patio during frost-free periods.
- Do not allow the pot soil to dry out, but avoid standing water.
- During the flowering period regularly remove exhausted flowers and feed the plant once a fortnight. This will ensure a rich and lengthy flowering.
- When the plants have finished flowering they can be brought back into flower in a subsequent season fairly easily. Give Gardenia and Stephanotis a cool rest period (approx. 12°C) during the months when there is less sunlight, with less water and no food. New buds will then form again in the spring when the days are more than 12 hours long. Only jasmine flowers at lower temperatures, also around 12°C. Source: FCH